McDonald's offering free breakfast to students taking AIMS test

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Students throughout the state are taking the AIMS test today and tomorrow, and McDonald's wants to make sure they go in with a full belly and fueled brain.

To make that happen, McDonald's restaurants throughout Arizona are serving up free breakfasts to third- through eighth-graders. The offer runs 6 a.m.-9 a.m. Monday and Tuesday. Kids must have a parent with them. Students can get an Egg McMuffin®, apple slices, and a choice of 1-percent milk, fat-free chocolate milk or a small Minute Maid® orange juice.

Last year, Arizona McDonald's restaurants doled out breakfast to more than 81,000 students on the first two days of AIMS testing.

"Whether students eat at home, at their schools or at McDonald's, it's important to have a well-balanced breakfast every day, especially before taking an exam like the AIMS," said Michelle Slayton, who owns and operates several McDonald's restaurants in Phoenix. "As many members of the McDonald's family are parents themselves, we feel it is important for us to contribute to the well-being of children in our communities. A wholesome breakfast that includes food groups like fruit, whole grains and low-fat milk will help provide the fuel and nutrients students need to start the day."

"We know that when students … got a full belly of a nutritious, wholesome breakfast, when they get to school and sit down to take that AIMS test, it's going to help them score better," McDonald's spokesman Jerry Gurke said. "If the kids can score well on the AIMS test, we know their future is brighter."

There are 280 McDonald's restaurants in the state of Arizona. Those restaurants employ 12,770 people.

Last month, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill to eliminate the AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards) test and its graduation requirement. This year's juniors will be the last who have to pass the test to get their diplomas.